June 22, 2018
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Connect with local business through chambers of commerce

By Dan Bookham, Special to the Midcoast Beacon

Want to get going with your holiday shopping or to connect with local services, businesses, and nonprofits? There are resources for that as close as downtown Camden, downtown Rockland and the Internet: The Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce. If you are looking for information on a wide range of local businesses and services, both the Chamber Information Centers (located on the Public Landing in Camden and in the Lighthouse Museum in Rockland) and the Chamber’s websites, http://www.camdenme.org and http://www.therealmaine.com can connect you to member businesses and organizations from accountants to Web design and everything in between.

The Chamber’s Information Centers don’t function as resources for just visitors. Due to our role as the public face of the business community, the Chamber is often the first stop for businesses, programs, organizations and agencies looking to connect with and help local residents, businesses and nonprofits.

We have information on local stores, merchants, dining and more; brochures and contact information for more than 600 local businesses and nonprofits; we have IRS forms and other government publications; we have maps and guides to help with your weekend recreation; we often serve as a ticket agent for local events; we even have free copies of a variety of magazines, newspapers and other publications produced by members. Just stop by and browse.

For businesses, the Chamber offers a wide range of free publications from the SBA, the IRS, the state of Maine, Efficiency Maine and more, all intended to connect you with programs, ideas and incentives that are designed to protect and enhance your bottom line.

In addition to information from state and federal governments and the nonprofit sector, the

Chamber offices also carry a wealth of information on helpful services and products offered by Chamber members — everything from graphic design to consulting to insurance plans to building renovation and more.

What’s wonderful about both Chamber offices is that they are truly local resources, staffed by

employees and volunteers who live in the area, who are familiar with the members and can help connect you to just the right business or service. In this age of the global economy, offshore call centers, automated phone systems and virtual FAQ pages, it’s nice to know that there are real, friendly, knowledgeable human experts who can help you cut through the static and clutter to find exactly what you need.

To take advantage of this free information, stop by either Chamber office 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and browse the free literature on hand, or visit us online 24/7 at http://www.camdeme.org or http://www.therealmaine.com and search the directory to find the perfect local business or service for your needs.

If you have a business that is not a Chamber member that would like to be a part of this great local resource, contact us today. Membership is open to all, and costs less than you might think — for most small businesses a Chamber membership works out to less than $21 a month. For more information on how the Chamber can help your business or organization, either as a new member or an existing one, contact membership services managers Karen Brace (Camden office) by email at kbrace@camdenme.org or by phone at 236-4404, or Robin McIntosh (Rockland office) at robin@therealmaine.com or 569-0376.

Dan Bookham is the executive director of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce that combines the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville and Rockland-Thomaston Area Chambers of Commerce. Contact him at 236-4404 or dbookham@camdenme.org.

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